A U.S. District Court judge in Louisiana has halted the start of President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers.
The vaccine mandate had been set to begin next week until U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty issued an injunction on Tuesday, according to the Daily Advertiser.
The judge’s decision came after a similar ruling Monday by a U.S. District judge in Missouri, but that decision applied to just 10 states, the newspaper reported.
Doughty, ruling on a lawsuit by Republican Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and 13 states, expanded his order to a nationwide injunction.
“If the executive branch is allowed to usurp the power of the legislative branch to make laws, two of the three powers conferred by our Constitution would be in the same hands,” the judge wrote. “If human nature and history teach anything, it is that civil liberties face grave risks when governments proclaim indefinite states of emergency.
“During a pandemic such as this one, it is even more important to safeguard the separation of powers set forth in our Constitution to avoid erosion of our liberties.”
The mandate, issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, required workers at facilities that participate in the programs, to get at least one shot of the vaccine by Monday and get fully vaccinated by Jan. 4, the Advertiser said.
Landry said in a statement: “I applaud Judge Doughty for recognizing that Louisiana is likely to succeed on the merits and for delivering yet another victory for the medical freedom of Americans. While Joe Biden villainizes our healthcare heroes with his ‘jab or job’ edicts, I will continue to stand up to the president’s bully tactics and fight for liberty.”
“While our fight is far from over, I am pleased the court granted preliminary relief against the president’s unconstitutional and immoral attack on not only our healthcare workers but also the access to healthcare services for our poor and elderly.”
Federal vaccine mandates have been the target of various lawsuits filed over the past few months. Earlier in November, over half of U.S. states filed or joined lawsuits opposing a vaccine mandate for employees of large companies, according to Business Insider.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a rule Nov. 4 requiring workers at companies with 100 or more employees to get vaccinated or take weekly COVID-19 tests, which was blocked Nov. 12 by the Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit.
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